Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning's Stamkos Puts Pressure on Himself to Score in Stanley Cup Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning's Stamkos Puts Pressure on Himself to Score in Stanley Cup Final

Article excerpt

Stamkos has pressure to score in Cup final

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BRANDON, Fla. - Steven Stamkos came within a stick blade of making his Stanley Cup goal drought storyline go away.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain doesn't have a goal in the final yet but came temptingly close in the final minutes of Game 4. All that prevented Stamkos from scoring was the stick of Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook.

It was so close teammates Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn started to put their hands in the air. They don't think it'll be long until they get to celebrate a Stamkos goal.

"He's been getting looks," Killorn said Friday. "As long as he's been getting looks, that's all you can control. It's just a matter of time before he scores."

As the face of the franchise, Stamkos puts plenty of pressure on himself to produce. That'll only increase with his streak of games without a goal now at six going into Game 5 of the final Saturday.

"I expect more from myself," Stamkos said Thursday. "No one said this was going to be easy."

Part of the problem can be chalked up to bad luck. The league's second-leading scorer during the regular season has gone through streaks and droughts in the playoffs and does look due for a goal or two.

The end of Game 4 Wednesday night was the best example. Stamkos was denied by Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford on an A-plus chance from the doorstep, and his shot that Seabrook deflected would have hit a wide-open net. …

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